Here’s the summary from Year2’s solid analysis of Georgia’s defense in the opener:
Georgia’s defense showed us on Saturday that it has the potential to be one of the best in the conference. It also showed the potential to get torched badly when it can’t get to the quarterback. Which is the “real” Georgia defense? Probably both, actually. I’m certain we’ll see both the Jekyll and Hyde of the Bulldogs’ defense at different times this year. It’ll all come down to matchups. For instance Texas A&M, with its terrifying passing game and nearly NFL-caliber line, would be a nightmare for UGA. Fortunately for the Red and Black, the Aggies aren’t on the schedule.
The fact that this is something of a down year for quarterbacking in the SEC means Georgia has a great chance to escape its defensive deficiencies in most weeks.
That’s an observation I made in the preseason. There simply aren’t that many offenses on Georgia’s schedule that can attack its inexperienced secondary. Does South Carolina have one of those offenses? Year2 thinks it does.
South Carolina makes for a good second test of the Bulldogs’ defense. Carolina’s offensive line is better than Clemson’s is. Dylan Thompson is more mobile than Stoudt is and is more experienced and a better passer than Watson is. Mike Davis is a question as he’s banged up, but Nick Jones and Pharoh Cooper will test the secondary from out wide. If Thompson has time to throw or can use his feet to buy time, guys will get open.
If Gurley gives Georgia a lead—and really, that’s probably more “when” than “if”—we know what will happen. When the Gamecocks went down against Texas A&M, they threw the ball almost every play. It was a far cry from Clemson’s shell shocked play calling. Pruitt could easily respond by blitzing the Gamecocks out of the stadium, but South Carolina will at least put some level of pressure on the defense’s weakest links.
I think there’s some truth there, at least as long as Georgia doesn’t have enough of a lead to keep Spurrier from going pass first. If the SC offense is forced to go chase mode, I’m not sure it’s going to have any more success with Georgia’s pass rush than Clemson did.